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Finalists announced for 10th Annual Accenture Rising Star Awards

After receiving hundreds of entries and going through thousands of pages of nominations, the Finalists for the 10th Annual Accenture Rising Star Awards have been announced!

Over the past nine years, these awards have been identifying, recognising and celebrating the most exciting young professionals across all industries in South Africa, and this tenth year is no different. ‘We are delighted to have so many entries from across the country identifying such a broad range of corporate and public sector talent,’ says Laura Barker, Managing Director of BlackBark Productions, organisers of the Rising Star Programme. ‘With the tremendous give back from the outstanding judges and the high quality of entries, I have no doubt that the future is bright.’

The awards are for young, talented employees of the age between 28 and 40, and form part of a unique platform where winners can go beyond just the recognition for work already done, and participate in a leadership and development programme throughout the year following their award.

‘It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all the finalists of this year’s Accenture Rising Star Awards,’ says Keshnie Martin, HR Director for Accenture in Africa. ‘The Rising Star platform allows us to recognise and connect with young leaders who demonstrate an exceptional drive to succeed and contribute to the future progress of business and society – not only in South Africa but throughout the continent.’

‘As the headline sponsor, Accenture is committed to nurturing young leaders who will help shape the destiny of Africa. We have a role to play in nurturing up-and-coming leaders and driving growth in the continent. Although this year marks our last journey with the Rising Star, we will continue to offer exceptional young people from all spheres of life, the opportunity to take their rightful place in the economy,’ concludes Martin.


Banking & Financial Services Sponsored by SA Taxi

  • Ashley Byles, Regional Manager, Old Mutual
  • Candice De Villiers, Underwriter, Bryte Insurance Company
  • Thamage Lesito, Fixed Income Portfolio Manager, Momentum Asset Management
  • Zanele Mabena, Executive: Change & Business Transformation, Standard Bank
  • Niren Mungar Ram, Head of Analytics Enablement, Absa 

Energy & Environment Sponsored by Sasol 

  • Ntitiseng Moloi, Supervisor: Power Plant Operations, Biotherm Energy
  • Manstie Hlakudi, Chief Engineer, Eskom
  • Nompumelelo Dlamini, Civil Engineering Manager, Eskom
  • Francois Sieberhagen, Executive Head: Human Resources, VKB Agriculture Group of Companies
  • Kagiso Hlabahlaba, Snr Solutions Architect SAP HR, Sasol

Entrepreneur Sponsored by IAMS POWERHOUSE CONSULTING

  • Veronica Motloutsi, CEO, SmartDigital Solution
  • Linda Maponyane, Managing Director, Kenako Media House
  • Talifhani Mamafha, Managing Director, Analytics Advertising
  • Nneile Nkholise, CEO, 3DIMO
  • Miso Nhlangulela, Managing Director & CEO, JayBerry Smoothie

ICT (Telecoms & Technology) 

  • Kabelo Kgodane, Business Development Manager: SubSaharan Africa, SITA Aero
  • Mapula Monyela, Specialist: Project Leader, Vodacom
  • Apiwe Hotele, Technology Commercialization Specialist, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO)
  • Tebogo Matlou, Snr Manager: CVM Commercial & Platforms, MTN
  • Fayaz Cassim, Regional Programme Manager, Dark Fibre Africa

Manufacturing & FMCG Sponsored by British American Tobacco SA 

  • Zainab Mohamed, Category Brand Manager, Mondelēz International
  • Tracy Nkabinde, Home Care Category Media Lead, Unilever
  • Sivenasen Moodley, Head of Customer Management, British American Tobacco
  • Ntsako Baloyi, Environmental Manager, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa
  • Werner Koen, Cosmetic Channel Head, Revlon & Elizabeth Arden SA

Media & Advertising  

  • Lindiwe Dhlamini, Label & Marketing Manager, The Orchard
  • Yolisa Zeka, Account Manager, Grey Advertising
  • Philile Mabolloane, Chief Revenue Officer, Juta and Company
  • Kalycia Urquhart, Co-Founder & CEO, Digital Doorway
  • Anthony Kirkwood, Creative Director, Big Red Design Agency

Mining & Minerals Sponsored by Rand Refinery

  • Mariette Swart, Corporate Financial Manager, Afrimat Limited
  • Thomas Conolly, Snr Asset Manager, Anglo American Platinum
  • Pity Pheko, Production Section Manager, Anglo American Thermal Coal
  • Sikelela Nzuza, Engineer Compliance Projects: Black Rock Mine Operations, Assmang
  • Lorren Jordt, Snr Manager Surface & Mineral Rights, Anglo American Platinum 

Professional Services Sponsored by Accenture

  • Zama Ngcobo Managing Partner, WMN Attorneys Inc.
  • Shirleen Ritchie Salaried Partner, Webber Wentzel
  • Mpho Zim, Manager: Technology Strategy, Accenture
  • Tanya Boretti, Accenture AWS Business Group (AABG) Market Development, Accenture
  • Charity Simamane, Snr Manager, PwC

Service: Public & Private 

  • Wayde Groep, Capacity Building & Knowledge Manager, Youth & After School Programme Office, Western Cape Goverment
  • Gundo Nevhutanda, Legal Counsel, Public Investment Corporation
  • Melene Rossouw, Executive Director, Women Lead Movement
  • Leenta Grobler, Associate Professor & Acting Director: Business Development, North-West University
  • Zainab Seria, Executive Legal: Compliance Corporate Relations, ITHUBA Holdings

Tourism, Retail & Hospitality Sponsored by Hilton

  • Dorcas Dlamini, Area Director of Sales & Distribution – Sub Saharan Africa, Marriott International
  • Zunaid Habib, Regional Operations Manager, Massmart
  • Candice Jamieson, Snr Manager: Information Risk & Privacy, Pick n Pay
  • LazoKarapanagiotidis, Digital Omnichannel Executive, Massmart
  • Refilwe Tleane, Snr IT Demand Manager, Massmart

Transport, Logistics & Security

  • Kutloano Modise, SHEQ Manager, Imperial Logistics
  • Amber Louise Sterley, HR Manager, Fidelity ADT – A division of the Fidelity Services Group
  • Carli Venter, Marketplace Strategic Executive, Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions
  • Tendai Sigauke, Inventory Manager, DB Schenker
  • Mathandi Nkosi, Snr Manager: Process Governance, Transnet SOC 


Sponsors for the 10th Annual Accenture Rising Star Awards include Accenture, SA Taxi, BAT, Hilton, IAMS Powerhouse Consulting , Sasol and Rand Refinery. 


The Rising Star Programme is operated by BlackBark Productions and is now in its tenth year. It recognises, celebrates and connects young talented individuals who can excel in their chosen fields, and who contribute to the betterment of our nation in an inspiring way.

The Rising Star Programme is establishing a living community of young professionals and entrepreneurs that will be developed and mentored, enabling them to become opinion leaders and role models for those who will follow in their footsteps. To-date the programme has has successfully recognised over 500 young individuals over the past nine years in its programme in South Africa and Kenya.




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